Drinking Throughout Post-Secondary Education: A Growing Concern
When we first begin the next chapter of our lives after high school and go off to university or college, many changes are happening. It is a time of pressure and, oftentimes, a challenge to fit in. Unfortunately, more recently than ever before, college drinking has become a huge cause of concern for parents, teachers, and alumni alike.
The increase in college drinking could be related to a variety of factors such as hormones, young age, no parental supervision, and peer pressure. College drinking not only affects the individual during their years of studies, but it also has long-term effects. It’s not hard to mistake alcohol abuse in college when it is apparent, as many social events are usually planned on drinking. Beer kegs and tailgate parties have become the norm for today’s almost-legal generation.
From a Psychological Standpoint
Studies have suggested that approximately 31 percent of college students partake in behavior that can be classified as full-on alcohol abuse. Of this 31 percent, six percent admitted to a dependency or reliance on alcohol; an unhealthy behavior at any age let alone the tender ages encompassing young adulthood.
A drinker who is classified as a ‘chonric severe’ or ‘functional’ drinker has a large chance of carrying their addictive tendencies into their adult life. It’s important that there is help available for these young adults during their time in school so that their habits do not continue on into adulthood.
A huge common misconception is that college drinking is a ‘right of passage’ or ‘par for the course’ for individuals of that age range. What this mentality translates to is completely losing sight of the true reasons why these youth attend school. To put it bluntly, over drinking, binge drinking, and blacking out have detrimental effects on the brains development and the individual’s ability to do well in school. It is really quite simple. When college kids drink too much, they experience a hangover and, therefore, cannot perform to the best of their abilities.
Another study found that close to 25 percent of college students attribute their over-drinking and abusive alcohol drinking style to:
- Lack of academic performance and ability
- Poor test scores
- Absences from class
- Inability to retain information taught in lecture/class
College students engage in drinking far more than those who are not in college but are of the same age. Non-college peers are also less likely to drink while under the influence than college students.
Drinking Synonymous With ‘College Life’
The problem is that college nowadays is associated with partying and with that comes drinking; an almost inevitability. We expect that when sending our kids off to college that they make the appropriate and safe decisions surrounding alcohol and the lifestyle that comes with it. The unfortunate truth is that so many students feel the pressure to ‘fit in’ and when so many ‘outside of class’ activities involve drinking, the chances of them doing so are high.
While the majority of students drinking habits will fade out and dissipate once they enter the working world, a percentage will not grow out of this behavior. It could be said, then, that college actually sets our students, our future, up for failure. There needs to be more education on the harms and dangers of drinking alcohol during undergraduate and post-graduate studies so that students can understand the potential outcomes of their bad habits.
Those who drink alcohol during their college years are also far more likely to engage in risky behavior such as unsafe sex and driving under the influence. These are just two of the many repercussions of some who choose to abuse drinking in college.
Overcoming the College Drinking Culture
If you do not seek help for your poor drinking habits, you run the risk of developing various health issues such as heart disease, brain damage, and liver disease, to name a few. College binge drinking and alcohol abuse are unhealthy patterns that can have a long-term effect on your life. There are treatment programs available to those who feel as though their drinking has become out of control.
If you or a loved one needs help with abuse and/or treatment, please call the WhiteSands Treatment at (877) 855-3470. Our addiction specialists can assess your recovery needs and help you get the addiction treatment that provides the best chance for your long-term recovery.